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Fathers' rights restored after mother hid children for 2 years

The residual effects of a custody battle that gained attention in Pennsylvania and across the nation continue to play out in the courtroom. A mother is already serving time for denying fathers' rights to her ex-husband by hiding two of their children for two and a half years. Recently, the woman who helped her was also sentenced.

As the couple's bitter divorce played out, the battle over the children apparently became brutal, with each side making efforts to disparage the other to win custody. The mother allegedly took her 13- and 14-year-old daughters to a friend's house, and that friend helped the mother hide the children at a nearby horse ranch. The ranch was owned by a couple who also ran an auto repair garage nearby.

Months later, when the investigation led police to the friend's home, they found a cell phone with pictures of the girls at the ranch. Police located the children and reunited them with their father. The mother was sentenced to jail for 250 days followed by probation for six years. The friend who helped her must serve 180 days in county jail and pay thousands in fines and restitution. The owners of the ranch will be going to trial soon.

The husband in this case waited for years to have his fathers' rights restored. During a contentious divorce, it is not uncommon for parental rights to be the source of battle. Divorcing parents in Pennsylvania benefit from the guidance and advice of family law attorneys when facing the emotional circumstances that often arise during custody disputes.

Source:, "Woman sentenced for helping hide girls", Nov. 11, 2016

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